The Power of Prayer

Series: The Gospel for the Rest of Us

Sermon by Gabe Fluhrer on Apr 30, 2017

James 5:13-18

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As you’re sitting down, if you will turn in your Bibles to James chapter 5, you’ll find this on page 1013 if you’re using a pew Bible. Before we read this passage, I want to make one comment about last week’s sermon. I don’t use a manuscript up here, and one of the pitfalls of preaching that way is that you can leave out things you mean to say. And so I made a big time error last week. Preachers make mistakes, I make a lot of them, and one of them was that our confession of faith, Westminster chapter 22, explains that lawful oaths – we were talking about oaths last week in James 5 – lawful oaths are part of religious worship. And then there are seven paragraphs about lawful oaths and vows. So what I want to make clear was, there are times when it’s lawful, according to the Scriptures, to take oaths and vows – swearing in for public office, saying our marriage vows, membership vows. What James was warning against was using oaths or vows as a kind of false speech to bolster what we already know to be false speech. So I wanted to make that quick correction. Please forgive me for not making that more clear last week.

James 5; we’ll be studying verses 13 to 18 this evening. Before we listen to God’s Word, let’s go to Him in prayer.

Our Father, we are those this evening who have that needless pain that we just sang about and have forfeited peace for cares You never meant for us to bear. And so this evening we ask that You would turn our eyes upon Jesus, that we would see the power of prayer. You are more powerful than we can even ever imagine. So help us. Help us to know that power. Show us Christ, the source of our power, by the Holy Spirit tonight. We pray in Jesus’ name, amen.

James 5, beginning at verse 13. This is God’s holy, inspired, and therefore inerrant Word:

“Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.”

The grass withers, the flowers fall, but the Word of the living God shall stand forever and ever. Amen.

Well, we were treated to, what I understand now is one of the top three greatest hits of the Day School play catalog, the “Barnyard Praise” of the kindergarten! That was a first for us. And just as an aside, thank you, Gary and the staff, everybody at the Day School. This is such an amazing ministry of our church and we were just, Callie and I were talking about that, reminded of how amazing the Day School is after watching this play. The name sounds fun and kid-like, but there was so much good theology. And I’m seriously not trying to hold up my daughter here, but her speaking part – I’m a proud papa! We got to her speaking part and I had no idea what she was going to say. I haven’t heard her rehearse it or anything like that. And she got to her speaking part and here’s what she said. “Whenever we start anything new, we should pray. God wants us to talk to Him about everything.” That was her line in the play. And as I sat there and listened to her, I thought to myself, “Well you just gave away my Sunday evening sermon, darling!” “Whenever we start something new, we should pray. And God wants us to talk to Him about everything.”

That’s the focus of this passage tonight as James is concluding his letter. It goes back to chapter 4 verse 8. “God gives grace to the humble but opposes the proud.” And for really since then, James has been working out for us, “What does it look like to lead a humble, dependent life?” He’s been sketching the outline of that because that’s really the mark of somebody who has genuine faith, which has been the concern of this letter – genuine faith. And James, as he concludes here in this letter, says to us one of the prime marks of somebody who has genuine faith is that they lead a humble, dependent life of prayer. And here’s the question I had to ask myself as I was preparing this week – “Do I believe in the power of prayer?” Have we lost faith that, as the old bumper sticker put it, “Prayer changes things.” Now as good reformed people we want to tweak some things about that statement, but let’s be clear. The substance of that statement is true, according to the Scriptures. Do we believe it?

And James wants to help us regain our confidence in the power of prayer this evening. He’ll do that for us under two headings. In verses 13 to 16 – conditions of powerful prayer; 13 to 16 – conditions of powerful prayer. And then in verses 17 and 18 – an example of powerful prayer. And the main point that James gives us this evening is outlining the conditions of powerful prayer by giving us that example of powerful prayer. So those are our headings and that’s the substance of what James is saying.

Conditions of Powerful Prayer

Look with me back there at verse 13 to 16. “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.” James gives us three “C”s as conditions for powerful prayer. The first is community; it’s verses 13 and 14. Community. That’s one of the conditions of powerful prayer. And he does that representatively. Notice what he does. He says there are these circumstances in which we find ourselves. Things are going well, we’re sick, or we’re grieved, suffering, whatever it is. He says wherever you find yourself, whatever circumstance you’re in – pray.

And notice the aside he gives there. One of the forms of prayer that he’s going to talk about is praise. And he says, “If you’re doing well if things are going well for you, sing!” Now the first thing we’ll say, especially us men, is, “Well I don’t know how to sing.” And let me just join the ranks. I don’t really know how to sing either, but I love to sing. And one of the things that we should do, especially if things are going well in our lives, is to sing. And again, you may be awful, and that’s why there’s that verse, “Make a joyful noise to the Lord!” And that’s okay! And so James says if things are going well, do that. But in other circumstances as well, no matter what’s going on, we should be people of prayer.

And then he gives this verse that causes so much controversy there in verses 14 and 15. “If someone is sick, let them call for the elders, let the elders anoint them with oil, and this prayer will save this person.” Okay, we’re going to talk about all those here in just a second. Let’s notice a few details. One of the commentaries that I’ve loved reading through this series is by a guy named Dan Doriani. And Dan was a professor at Covenant Seminary, our denominational seminary. He’s been an ordained PCA pastor for a number of years. And he has this amazing story in his commentary on this passage about a man in his church who was healed from a very serious viral heart infection. This man was diagnosed with this virus in his heart, it should have taken his life in a matter of months, and so Doriani remarks that as soon as he got this condition he read this verse and called for the elders of the church and said, “Would you please come anoint me with oil and pray?” And Doriani said, “Well, we’d never done anything like that before! And so in good Presbyterian fashion, we took six weeks to study the matter and hoped he didn’t die!” And as they were studying and working through what to do, they came to the conclusion, “Let’s go do this.” So Doriani then goes on to explain what happened. He said, “We went to this man’s house, we anointed him with oil, and” I quote, “as soon as we began to pray I had an overwhelming sense that God was, at that moment, healing my friend. My arms felt what I can only describe as bolts of fire pulsing through them. As I grasped my friend’s shoulder, heat, and energy burned in my hand. I knew God was healing him.”

Now that language can make us uncomfortable, as the frozen chosen, but let’s be clear, the Scriptures make it abundantly plain to us that prayer can be effective, if God so wills, for the healing of people. And this is not a lone incident. I heard a speaker once at a conference who had become a Christian because her husband had been diagnosed with brain cancer. This speaker had three degrees from Harvard, brilliant scientist; her husband got brain cancer, was given a diagnosis of six months to live, they’d never been to church, they wandered into a charismatic, Pentecostal church, hands were laid on him, he was healed – that was fifteen years ago. So these kinds of things, these incidences – and by the way, all of them that I read about had these same kinds of marks. Those bolts of fire; this heat and energy going through someone’s hands.

Now Doriani goes on to explain that didn’t happen every time they anointed somebody with oil and prayed for them. It did happen in this instance! And what James is saying to us is very clear. He’s saying when we find ourselves in these situations, we are to call for the elders to pray with us as representatives of the community in which we find ourselves. As elders of the church, as those who represent us, that’s what he’s getting at here.

Pray With Confidence

And then he tells us we need to pray with confidence; not just in community, but with confidence. Verse 15 – “and the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick.” Now great confusion abounds here on this verse. You’ve got on the one hand people who say, “Look, if you’re not healed, it’s because you don’t have enough faith.” One of the saddest things to do as a minister is to go visit somebody who might not have the same theological understanding we do. And I’ve had people say this to me on sickbeds – “You know, pastor, the problem is I don’t have enough faith and that’s why God is not healing me.” Well, two things should refute that decisively. Number one – Paul. He said, “Three times I asked for the Lord to remove this thorn and he chose not to.” So even Paul wasn’t healed. Number two – Eventually, all healing runs out until Jesus returns. We’re all going to die. So there may be some healings, but they’re partial and temporary until the final healing when we go to be with Jesus. So that’s on the one hand.

God is Sovereign in Healing

We want to avoid the superstitious trust here that by the anointing with oil – and we’re not really sure what that signifies; commentators go around and around. Does it signify the Holy Spirit? Is it part of a ritual? We don’t know! We should obey and do it. I knew reformed pastors that have anointed people with oil, among Dan Doriani and others. But the thing we want to avoid is seeing that as some kind of a magical potion or formula for healing. God is sovereign in the healing. He chooses when and whom He will heal. And He might heal by taking that person home. So that’s one error to avoid.

But on the other hand, we cannot be skeptics. We cannot be those who approach it with the kind of lack of faith – we don’t call it faith; it’s a lack of faith. It says, “I’m pretty sure God’s not going to act, but I’ll fling a prayer out anyway.” Faithless prayer is not going to connect us to the power of God. James told us that back in chapter 1.

Physical or Spiritual Healing?

So here’s the question then. Are we convinced of His power enough to pray with confidence? That’s the issue here for us! It’s an issue of our hearts. Are we convinced enough of His power to pray with confidence and yet trust Him to do things in His time as He pleases? That’s what He’s calling us to do here. And he uses this phrase, “And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick.” Now it’s interesting the word James uses here. It can mean either to spiritually save or to save physically. And we want to ask James, “Which one is it?” I think he would say to us, “Yes!” Because all of the terms that relate to salvation and “raise him up” here, all of these are ambiguous terms in this text that can mean physical or spiritual healing.

But for James, the main focus is our last “C” – confession. He says the Lord may raise this person up from a sickbed, but then the rest of His time is focused on forgiveness of sins. Verse 15, “If he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.” Verse 16, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and you will be healed.” There’s that ambiguity again! Is it physical or spiritual healing? James says, “Both!” And his focus is this. He says you might be healed physically sometimes, but if you pray with confidence in community and engage in confession, you’ll find spiritual healing all the time. You will be forgiven, he says.

The Freedom That Accompanies Godly Confession

And what does that mean to confess our sins to one another? Again, there’s that community emphasis. Well, one thing it doesn’t mean is this. I’ve seen this done in gatherings of Christians. I saw a pastor do this once as he was leaving a church. He started calling out women by name he had lusted after. Okay? That is not the focus of this verse whatsoever. If you struggle with lust, let me encourage you to take that to the Lord privately because that is a private sin. There are public sins which need to be confessed publicly. But what James is talking about here is much simpler than all of that. He’s saying there is a freedom that comes when we unburden ourselves to one another. And our churches have to be the kind of places where it’s safe to do that. He’s talked to us about that a lot, hasn’t he – where it’s safe to do that because that’s one of the means God uses to bring freedom to our lives.

And isn’t that true? If you’ve been a Christian any amount of time you know it’s true. If something is eating you up inside and you’ve got a good Christian friend that you can go unburden your sin too, it almost instantaneously brings healing. And so James invites us to imagine a community of believers where this kind of thing happens regularly – mutual accountability, mutual confession of sin to one another that we might find healing for our souls. And so James promises us we’ll find forgiveness this way, not because of our confession to one another but because when we do that, and we’ve done it first to the Lord and we do it with each other and we’re encouraging one another in our faith in Christ, it brings healing. Do you need to do that? I know in my own life, right after I became a Christian I had a dear friend who had been converted about the same time. We were fraternity brothers in college, he ended up being the best man in my wedding, we’re still close friends. He was one of those guys I could go to, and still to this day, we can call each other up and confess to one another what’s going on in our lives – sins we’re struggling with. James says that’s what we ought to be doing with each other.

Have You Experienced God’s Forgiveness and Grace?

And one of the questions we need to ask ourselves is, “Is this a place where that can be done?” It goes back to what we were talking about last week – being genuine; taking that mask off. Or when we confess to one another, the first reaction is not sinful-judgmentalism, but more like a freedom of, “Me too! Let me help you find freedom from this sin that you’re struggling with.” And again, this flows to a community of believers only to those who have really experienced God’s forgiveness and grace. You can’t show what you don’t know. The presupposition here is that those to whom this is happening and who are doing this are those who have experienced God’s grace and His forgiveness in their own hearts. Have we? And one of the things that make us harsh and judgmental and unforgiving is we’ve forgotten what we just sang – “Redeemed! How I love to proclaim it! Redeemed, by the blood of the Lamb! His child, and forever I am.” Somebody to whom that has sunk deep down in their souls is going to be a very forgiving person; it’s going to be somebody who, when you go and confess to that person they are not going to look down their nose at you, they’re going to say, “Let’s pray. And God is so good He can help us in this situation.” That confidence James wants us to have. That will happen when we experience God’s forgiveness and grace.

Our Righteousness in Christ

So community, confidence, and confession. And then James closes out there in verse 16, “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” That’s kind of a summary promise that introduces his last point here. And that’s a promise we need to hold on to! Maybe we’ve even prayed that back to the Lord if you grew up in church? I’m sure you’ve heard that. But if it’s new to you, here’s the promise, very simply. Well, you say, “Well I’m not a righteous person.” Neither am I. But in Christ, we are righteous, and therefore we can have confidence when we pray that God will hear. All of this is meant to invoke, meant to implant, meant to give us more confidence in prayer. That’s why James gives us this promise.

An Example of Powerful Prayer

But look with me there in the second place at an example of powerful prayer. Here’s what he says. “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months, it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heavens gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.” So here’s the example. Notice how James introduces him. This is the second Old Testament character he’s drawn our attention to. Last week it was Job. This week it’s Elijah, the great prophet; kind of the prophet that the New Testament writers hold up as the guy you look to as the paradigm of the prophets. But did you see how he introduced him to us? “A man with a nature like ours.” Why does he do that? Elijah was revered by ancient Jews. James is an ancient Jew, therefore we’d expect maybe kind of a more flowery introduction – “The great and exalted prophet, Elijah,” something like that. He says, “A man with a nature like ours.” Why? To remind us that in this supernatural answer to prayer that Elijah received, he was no different than you and me. In other words, James says this kind of power in prayer that Elijah experienced.

And let’s go back to that incident in 1 Kings. Elijah prayed and he tells us what happens. The course of nature was changed. Now I don’t know about you, but if I received that kind of answer to prayer, that would boost my faith! Especially after our weather alarm this morning, I think a lot of us would have loved to have had Elijah’s power to remove tornadoes and severe thunderstorms from central Mississippi! But that’s what happens. He prays it doesn’t rain. No explanation; no natural explanation. Only a supernatural explanation that God answered the prayer of this great prophet. And James says, “Yes, but.” That power is available to all of us. A man with a nature like ours. You and I can have confidence when we pray that that power is available to us. I need that encouragement from the Word. I need to know God is powerful. I need to know when I’m disappointed and I don’t see answers to prayer that things like supernatural answers to pray that Elijah experienced are still possible. Again and again, James says they are.

But when we read about Elijah is also reminds us of what Jesus said. You remember what He said in Matthew 12? He said, “One greater than Elijah is here.” And this takes us to the heart of the Gospel when we read about Elijah as an example here of prayer because it goes back to that last statement in verse 16. The question we should all ask is, “Who is the righteous man?” And Jesus tells us He’s greater than Elijah. And that focuses our attention on Jesus as the one greater than Elijah, as the ultimately only righteous person who’s ever lived – perfectly righteous; perfectly obedient to His Father’s law. And it goes also, it rather takes us right to the center of the Savior’s prayer life. All the prophets of whom Elijah is the representative were fervent prayer warriors and they pointed us forward to Jesus. And therefore when we read about the Savior’s life, we read things like Mark 1:36 – “And before dawn, a great while before day, he went and prayed.” That was His habit. Now I’m not saying that you need to set your alarm clock for three o'clock tomorrow morning and get up and pray. Not a bad idea, but that’s not what the point of the verse is. The point of the verse is to show us the fervency and the devotion of the Savior to His Father’s will.

Christ’s Agonizing Prayer

And the culmination of His prayer life, of course, is the Garden of Gethsemane. Where do we find Him? Let’s go to that garden and we find the sinless Savior of the world, the God-Man, on the night before His execution, asking His best friends to pray for Him. How many of us said that to each other this morning, “Pray for me! I’ve got this on my plate; I’ve got that on my plate.” And we like to pray for each other; I know, we’ve experienced that so wonderfully recently, and all the time we’ve been here. But Jesus asks that and what happened to His friends – they fled. And when we find the Savior in Gethsemane, we don’t find Him simply making some nice prayers to His Father. We find Him in such agony and distress that a medical condition comes upon Him where His capillaries burst and He begins to sweat, the text tells us, as it were, great drops of blood. Agony in prayer! And what is He praying? “Father, if it’s possible, let this cup pass from me.” What cup? The cup outlined in the prophets. The cup of God’s wrath. The cup of God’s wrath for all of our prayerlessness, all of our pride, all of our refusing to be dependent upon God, all of our fist-shaking at Him. And Jesus says, “If it’s possible, let this pass.” And yet how does He finish the prayer? “Nevertheless, not my will be done but Yours.” That goes back just to what James has been teaching us. Jesus models it for us so perfectly. He has the prayer of faith. “I know You can do this, God. I know You can take the cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, Yours, Father.”

Why Did He Pray Like This?

And that raises another burning question – Why did He pray this way? Why did our Savior sweat great drops of blood in the garden? Why did He pray like this? And the answer is – for us. He knew our names when He went to that cross. He knew the suffering He was undergoing was not for His sin. He committed no sin; no guile was found in His mouth. He was perfect; the spotless Lamb of God. And yet all of our sins were represented in that cup and He got on His knees and He prayed the way He prayed for you and for me. He was praying in our place. And the best news is, the cross didn’t stop that prayer. Jesus has not stopped praying for us. The author of Hebrews puts it this way, “He ever lives to make intercession for us.”

Do you need encouragement today that your prayers did get higher than the ceiling? James tells us, using the example of Elijah which takes us right to Christ, that not only have your prayers gotten higher than the ceiling; they always get higher than the ceiling. In fact, they go right to heaven where Jesus is at the right hand of the Father, interceding forever. That is good news for prayerless people like us because when I pray, I think when most of us pray, there is so much of “me” in my prayers. We kind of do the ACTS model – adoration, confession, thanksgiving, supplication. Right? We’ve all kind of heard that if you’ve been in Sunday school or grew up in the church. Most of us it’s like right through the ACT part. Adoration – “God, You’re awesome.” Confession – “I sin. Thanks for what You do. Now let me tell You what I need.” That’s how my prayers go often. Isn’t it reassuring to know that with all of our sinfulness, all of us bound up in those prayers, that is erased by the blood of Jesus?

And He, like the faithful high priest of the Old Testament, takes the incense of our prayers that has become not a stench in the nostrils of our God but a sweet-smelling aroma in fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy that prayers would go up like aromas from all over the earth, Jesus takes all of our self-centered, all of our wrongly-placed, all of our faithless prayers and perfumes them before the heavenly Father so that you and I can know that that prayer has been heard and will be answered according to God’s perfect will. Do not lose confidence in prayer. That’s what James is shouting at us. That’s what Jesus is saying to us on His knees in the Garden of Gethsemane. “I have prayed for you, Peter, that your faith may not fail.” And He is praying for all of us right now. When you need somebody to pray for you, oh, ask anybody here. But ask Jesus. Go to Him. He will pray for us.

Pray Whenever and Wherever You Can!

Let me close by giving us four things of how to do this in the real world. How do we do this dependent life of prayer? First thing, pray whenever and wherever you can – on the way to school, on the way to work, on your walk into class, while you’re doing dishes, while you’re at the office, while you’re in the deer stand, while you’re doing laundry. Whatever it is, pray wherever and whenever you can. If you’re in the car driving down the interstate, keep your eyes open, but pray!

Focus On Jesus!

Second thing – don’t focus on the length of your prayers; focus on the One to whom you are praying. Satan wants to use this strategy. If you only pray for a few minutes he says, “See what a weak prayer you are!” I need to pray more; we all need to pray more. The moment he gets us to focus on that, he takes our eyes off Jesus. That’s the focus of our prayers, not how long we’re doing it. And let me say this. Prayer can become something like being in love with somebody – the hours fly by. That can happen to us in our relationship with Jesus, but it starts with not focusing on our time, on our watch. “How long have I been at this?” But rather, “How much have I poured out to Him? How much have I focused on Him? How much have I felt like I’ve spent time with a Friend, the best of friends, the Savior of sinners like me?”

Pray When You Don’t Feel Like It!

Third thing – pray when you don’t feel like it! Pray when you don’t feel like it. And you’ll say, “That’s hypocrisy.” No, my friends, that’s not hypocrisy; that’s humility. Again the devil says, “See, you’re a hypocrite. You don’t feel it. You don’t feel close to Jesus. Your heart’s not in it so stop praying.” Jesus says faith is better than feelings. When you don’t feel it, pray. Or, as when I became a Christian, an old pastor gave me a Bible and inscribed in the front was, “When it’s hardest to pray, pray the hardest.” When it’s hardest to pray, pray the hardest. That’s not hypocrisy, that’s humility. That’s saying, “God, I don’t feel it but I trust You. I believe that You will hear me.” Pray when you don’t feel like it.

Pray Expectantly!

The last thing – pray expectantly! That’s what James says to us. Pray expectantly. If you want elders to come anoint you with oil, call them up. Sorry that I just volunteered elders in the Session to do that, but if James says it, we ought to do it! It works, according to what James tells us if God chooses. Pray expectantly is the main point. Don’t put your trust in oil or elders; put your trust in Christ and pray knowing that He can work. Do we believe that? As a church, as individuals, this is what is needed today, friends. We’ve got to be the kind of congregation and the kind of individuals who joyfully realize that God answers prayer and can do supernatural things through one person praying. One person! Church history is literally littered with examples of one person praying and everything changing.

One of my favorites is George Muller of Bristol. The so-called “father of the orphans.” He lived from 1803-1898. He lived for most of the 19th century. He was converted in his 20s and throughout his lifetime, early on after he became a Christian, first of all, he became convinced of Calvinism and he said that revolutionized his prayer life when he became convinced that the reformed faith was the correct reading of the Scriptures. And after that, he made it a point to keep a journal. He started orphanages and said, “I am keeping a journal of answered prayer requests to show those who do not yet believe the Gospel that there is a God in heaven and He does answer prayer.” So he had an evangelistic and apologetic, a defense of the faith purpose, for keeping these prayer journals, all of which are published today. And so for the rest of his life, he set about praying. He told nobody of his needs; he simply prayed. He did not even tell his closest associates. And there’s story after story of these orphans, hundreds of them, waking up with no idea how they would eat their breakfast that morning, let alone lunch or dinner. And God always came through.

And by the end of his life, here are the statistics. Through George Muller’s journals, adjusted for modern dollars – he cared for over 10,000 orphans and prayed down some $70 million in modern dollars to care for those orphans – 10,000 orphans; $70 million – prayer. And interestingly, throughout his life, after he was converted he prayed for eight of his friends. One by one, they all became Christians. One of them, however, persisted. And Muller prayed for him every day, every day for sixty-three years. Towards the end of his life, he was asked about this lone friend of his that he had been praying for who had not become a Christian. They said, “Are you not discouraged at all?” He said this. He said, “I have been praying for sixty-three years and eight months for one man’s conversion. He is not saved yet, but he will be. How can it be otherwise? I am praying.” And over and over again, Muller would say things like this, “I am not unique. I do not have special access to God. I believe my Father loves me and listens to me.”

Here’s the news. He dies; that friend shows up at his funeral. As they are lowering Muller’s body to the ground he runs over to the graveside and yells out, “God, have mercy on me, a sinner!” and was saved there at Muller’s funeral and died in faith. And here’s the point. The best part about powerful-prayer like James is talking about and like George Muller demonstrated is that everybody here tonight can experience that. It is available for all of us. Do not walk out of here without knowing that. Right now, today, all we have to do is ask. So let’s pray!

Father, help us believe. Give us a renewed confidence as a community of those who have confessed sins, many of us. For those who haven’t, Lord, I pray tonight that they would be just like Muller’s friend who came to know Christ. Father, don’t let them wait another day. And help us all, Lord, leave from this place with a renewed energy for prayer. How we long to experience answered prayer, to experience more of You. Remove doubt and build faith. That is our prayer, and we make it in the strong name of Jesus. Amen.

© 2017 First Presbyterian Church.

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